Reviews: Union Jack:London Falling

Published on April 7th, 2009

Hey kiddies it’s Tuesday so you know what that means!!! Yes it’s TRADE Tuesday!!! I know we are all excited. The book I chose to review this week is Union Jack: London Falling. So go grab your tea and crumpets and crank up your favorite Clash records cause we are going back to the motherland!!!

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The story starts off with the new Union Jack (Joey Chapman) putting his butt on the line for England against a group of terrorist super villains. The line up of attacking C list villains are Machette, Batroc the Leaper, Jack O’Lantern and Shockwave. They essentially are holding all of London hostage as Union Jack tries to stop them with the help of Israeli super heroine Sabra, S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent “Val” de la Fontaine, and the new (Saudi) Arabian Knight—who, is drawn a lot like Sayid from LOST. On the job fights break out between the Knight and Sabra, while Jack and Val are united by the kind of evil that classically allows England and America to overlook their differences and by the end of the series, all of these obscure personalities seem as familiar and engrossing as any of Marvel or DC’s big team books.

This is exactly what makes London Falling such a great book!! This Union Jack is portrayed as a working class hero who faces impossible odds with a stiff upper lip that the English are known for. Chapman (actually the third character to be called Union Jack) emerges as an underdog of sorts lacking superpowers and armed with only a silver dagger (for killing supernatural baddies) and his Webley (plus a few flying Aston Martins ,ya know cause they are bad ass cars), Jack has to skate by only on his wits and determination.

Writer Christos Gage mixes super heroics with subtle political commentary flawlessly. London Falling touches not just on the challenge of fighting terrorism, but also on England’s class conflict as Union Jack stands for the proletariat rather than the Queen, fighting to make the world safe for the common man and giving this new Union Jack much needed weight.

Artist Mike Perkins is in top form here and brings a cinematic feel to this book only rivaled by Bryan Hitch in the Ultimate’s. While some may not like that he based some of these heroes on actual people it makes you feel like your are getting a star studded cast with instant recognition as to where and what the characters sound like and act like.

I personally loved this TPB!!! I would love to see more of this character and I am crossing my fingers that he shows up, as a part of Captain Britain and MI13 as I feel there is still plenty of stories yet to be told about Union Jack!! I just hope they continue to handle him in the manor that they have in this trade and if they do well then Make mine Marvel!!;)

Sheldon Lee
Sheldon@comicimpact.com